It can be intimidating when your boss replies with ‘Fine’ to your morning greetings. It is very important to be able to have honest and open conversations with your boss or manager. This ensures a healthy work environment, where you feel that your work matters, and that you have the scope to grow professionally. Getting into the habit of seeking out feedback and sharing your opinions on a regular basis can improve your relationship and enhance your performance.
But, how do you turn a neutral or lukewarm rapport into something more honest and open with your boss? It can be a difficult and awkward journey. You would want to share a good rapport without coming off as a sycophant in front of others.
Here’s how you can start the process towards a healthy relationship with your boss or manager.
Begin With A Small Step
You cannot expect to start sharing weekend plans with your boss in the first go. You can begin by initiating small but meaningful conversations. Show the boss you are eager to learn and look forward to feedback. For instance, “How do you think that presentation went?” can act an ice-breaker.
Have A Regular Conversation
It is not enough to have a a random conversation. Your boss should know that you are genuinely looking to improve your performance. So, requesting for 15 minutes every week to ensure that your work is in sync with the project goals can help. These don’t have to be mini-review meetings. They can just be meaningful and honest conversations to ensure that you are working on the right path.
Image Credit: TV Series – Suits
Using The Right Language Always Helps
Sometimes in our effort to dig deeper into the boss’s expectations, we might become more assertive than we intend to. So, it is important to remain humble, and use non-confrontational language to express that you want to progress in your role. For instance, you could say, “I understand that you would rather have me handle this email campaign differently. Could you help me with more specific ideas about how I could improve it?”
Pulkit Gupta, Partner at Glamod Technologies, says, “The boss always works within a larger context than you. They have a bird’s eye view of the situation. So, it is better to avoid beating about the bush, and speak clearly about how you feel. If your conversations add value to the company, the boss is more likely to appreciate honest conversations.”
These approaches will help you share a good rapport and honest conversations with your boss.